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10.04.2015 Mobile phones


Would you drive while wearing a blindfold? Hmm, probably not. But when you’re busy texting or checking a missed call, that’s essentially what you’re doing: driving blind.

The risks

According to research by the RAC Foundation, a driver who’s texting is more dangerous than a driver who’s been smokin’ weed or drunk the legal alcohol limit.

If you’re texting or chatting without a hands-free kit, you’re not ready to react to what’s on the road. Research shows that your reactions are a third slower. Research also shows you’re less able to drive in a straight line. So even if you slow down, you’re still swerving all over the road. The best policy is to switch your mobile to silent when driving, so you’re not distracted.

The law

It’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while you’re driving. If the police catch you, expect to pay £60 and get three points on your licence. The penalty’s the same if you’re caught driving badly while using a handsfree.

Note: switching on loudspeaker and wedging your phone between your legs does not count as hands free.